Source | http://dialoguereview.com : By
In a Social Age, leaders must move away from fitting individual development to external standards, so they can undertake personal journeys of discovery and growth, write Sudhanshu Palsule and Frank Guglielmo
Picture the scene in a simulation exercise called “dangerous opportunities” on an executive education programme, with senior leaders from a top pharmaceutical company. The leaders are in an “immersion room”, being confronted by an actor, posing as a journalist. He is making allegations regarding their company about which he plans to write. When asked for a response, one of the leaders re- acts sharply and embarks on a lengthy explanation about how he will take the matter to the executive commit- tee, followed by the company council and the in-house legal department, to formulate an appropriate response. While we should bear in mind that this is a simulation exercise, the individual’s reaction is based on several assumptions: one, that the situation will remain static while he undertakes the steps he has described; two, that reverting to the hierarchy is the appropriate way of going forward; and three, that the journalist is on the “other side of the camp” and must be confronted with distrust and suspicion.
The Social Age
The problem with the approach described above is that it is out of touch with an environment in which communication happens instantaneously, information is created socially, multiple constituencies are joined together by social networks and where everyone (figuratively) carries a megaphone. We call this new reality the Social Age and it is already starting to pose a challenge
to the static and insular world view that has shaped our routines and behaviours at work, our interactions with the external world and even the structure of our organizations. The impact of the Social Age on how we lead our organizations is huge.